Uniqlo to Sell Clothes from Airport Vending Machines
Ever gotten through TSA and realized that you left behind your favorite shirt or jacket? Fortunately for forgetful travelers, hip Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo plans to expand its footprint with vending machines... in airports.
Since Wednesday, travelers have been able to use the touchscreen at a "Uniqlo To Go" machine located in Oakland International Airport (OAK) to purchase two of the brand's signature items — the HEATTECH t-shirt and the Ultra Light Down jacket for about $15 and $70 respectively — in a variety of sizes and colors. Once the items are purchased, the six-foot-high vending machine then dispenses the clothes in a small box or can. The clothes are designed to be practical — they're warm, yet lightweight — and will easily fit in even the smallest of carry-ons. Worried about buyer's remorse? Impulsive shoppers can rest assured in knowing that any purchase can be returned via mail or to a Uniqlo store.
Uniqlo isn't the first retailer to set its sights on vending machines; Best Buy is another such retailer that sells flight essentials like noise-canceling headphones and other electronics via machine in airport terminals. Benefit Cosmetics' pink vending machines tend to stand out in airports and are especially handy for those in search of makeup on the go.
After Uniqlo opened more than 45 stores during its expansion into the US, it struggled to attract shoppers aside from its core audience. The company hopes that a temporary presence with pop-ups and vending machines in high-traffic locations like airports will entice customers to buy from the brand.
"We're trying to understand where we can be more successful without making a big commitment," Uniqlo's US-based CMO, Marisol Tamaro, told The Wall Street Journal.
Over the next two months, the company plans to roll out 10 of the machines in popular US locations, including at the Hollywood and Highland Center in Los Angeles on August 10, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston on August 17 and New York's Queens Center mall on August 22.
Have you ever purchased anything from an airport vending machine? Let us know in the comments, below.
All photos courtesy of Uniqlo.